Last week, Copperleaf attended CIGRE’s 2016 conference in Paris, France. With over 6,000 visitors, 370 meetings and 200 active work groups, the biannual forum—which is wholly focused on large power systems—has become a highlight in our calendar.
As a decision analytics company, Copperleaf can seem slightly out of place at these types of events. With our booth surrounded by companies selling fun toys like glass insulators, cable cleats, insulating oils and condition-assessing drones, we suspected that only the most dedicated asset management fans would come by to talk about the economics of making better investment decisions in a constrained environment. To our surprise, however, we were pleased to see that the conversation about asset management in the electrical transmission and distribution (T&D) space is really heating up—and not just because of the sizzling 37°C weather in the City of Light!
Inside our pleasantly air-conditioned booth, we spoke to an increasing number of attendees who were familiar with ISO 55000, the international standard for asset management, and who were beginning to think about asset management as an economic problem instead of an engineering challenge. This conversation was also central to CIGRE’s working group on economics, composed of 20 experts from around the world, including our own Boudewijn Neijens. In apparent ignorance of French labour laws, the group met at 8 am on Sunday morning before the conference to begin the tough but necessary work of applying ISO 55000 to the T&D space, with a goal of producing a full draft in time for CIGRE’s symposium in Dublin next year.
In other sessions, the question of economic decision making came up again and again, as attendees debated the feasibility of quantifying risk to enable better evaluation of projects with different drivers. Others wondered whether the effect of technological advances would change the problem of asset management, as the worldwide grid becomes bigger, “smarter,” and more green. Given this sustained interest in asset management, event organizers identified the management of value-driven projects as a topic of study for the next two years, leading up to CIGRE 2018.
We are incredibly excited to see growing interest in these issues and we look forward to our continued involvement with CIGRE and other industry groups as the AIPM discussion continues to heat up.
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